Jakarta, 27 September 2023 – Indonesia’s increase in climate commitments in the Enhanced Nationally Determined Contribution (E-NDC) brings a number of implications, including plans to stop coal-fired power plant operations early to reduce emissions. This plan has several impacts, including a decrease in the income of coal-producing regions as well as national income, the potential for massive layoffs, as well as other socio-economic impacts.
In a hybrid seminar, entitled “Sunset CFPP and the Coal Industry: Reviewing Multisectoral Direction & Impact in a Just Energy Transition” (27/9), Fabby Tumiwa, Executive Director of the Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR) explained that the energy transition agenda for both Indonesia and the destination countries for Indonesian coal exports will have an impact on a number of aspects in Indonesia.
“There are three factors that can be seen from the energy transition in coal producing areas: the link between the local economy and coal, the readiness of existing human resources, and alternative economic options that can be developed in that area, and how mitigation plans can be prepared,” said Fabby.
In the presentation material delivered by Ilham Surya, IESR Environmental Policy Analyst, it was explained that the role of the coal industry in the economy of coal-producing regions is quite significant.
“The GRDP contribution is between 50% and 70% in Muara Enim and Paser, but the multiplier effect is not that big,” said Ilham.
Within the scope of national policy, the Ministry of PPM/Bappenas is currently preparing a Long Term Development Plan (RPJP), one of the points is economic transformation.
“The energy transition is part of the green economic transformation, so in the latest draft of RPJP, what we meant by transition is not only seen from the energy sector,” explained Nizhar Marizi, Director of Energy, Mineral and Mining Resources, Bappenas.
Grita Anindarini, Deputy Director for Programs, Indonesia Center for Environmental Law (ICEL), emphasized the important role of the policy framework and implementation of various existing regulations.
“A just energy transition requires a very big policy transformation on employment, environment, energy, and financing. Currently there are several policy regulations regarding the energy transition, but their implementation still faces various obstacles,” explained Grita.
Haris Retno Susmiyati, Lecturer at the Faculty of Law, Mulawarman University, admits that economic dependence on coal commodities is not a good thing. She said that in 2015, when coal prices fell drastically, the economy of East Kalimantan also slumped.
“By regulation, the company’s obligation to pay royalties to the government is only 13.5% of that figure. The regional government only gets 5%, so it is not the coal producing regions that actually enjoy the profits from coal,” said Retno.
Having a similar context to East Kalimantan, Jambi province is also starting to prepare for transition. Ahmad Subhan, Head of Economy and Natural Resources, Bappeda Jambi, said that even though it is not the main coal producing area, the contribution of the coal sector to GRDP is quite significant.
“Coal is indeed significant for supporting the economy, but if there are substitutes that are more relevant to regional conditions, they can be explored further. For this transition, we in Jambi province are supportive but not drastic. We are also waiting for substitutions for economic transformation,” said Ahmad.